Fashion East, launched by Lulu Kennedy and The Truman Brewery in 2000 is a non-profit designer support and showcasing scheme, created with the sole purpose of nurturing emerging UK talent. Having since become known for spotting future fashion icons such as JW Anderson, Kim Jones and Liam Hodges, to name but a few- the company has been dubbed an ‘incubator program’ by many, supporting its in house designers with financial bursaries, business consultations and mentoring from a team of industry experts. 
London Fashion Week this year saw a showcase of five of its designers for AW21. Returning designers Nensi Dojaka, Goom Heo and Maximilian Davis are joined by two fresh new faces: Jawara Alleyne, and accessories label, HRH. “I’m excited by this group: the talent is so diverse.” Kennedy explains, “I’m in awe of the energy and optimism they bring to this year’s line-up. I’m seeing some of my favourite ideas and clothes coming through within their collections. I want everyone to know them like I do.” 
“I’m excited by this group: the talent is so diverse.” - Lulu Kennedy
Getting to know the designers through their collections, captured using a mixture of still and moving images, we learn why Kennedy is so excited to share this emerging talent with us. We go backstage to meet the teams behind the labels, and in turn we become a part of them, even if just for a moment. 
LFW newcomers and Fashion East’s latest recruits, Jawara Alleyne and HRH (otherwise known as Hannah Hopkins) take this year's fashion show by storm. Graduating from CSM’s class of 2020, Alleyne questions identity and ‘modern manliness’ in his sensual and redefining designs. Raised in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands his garments and the stories he tells through them have been inspired by his rich culture and heritage. Perhaps a highlight for me was Hannah (HRH), who presented her Insta-ready collection featuring daring, experimental and puffy accessories. The line itself is a nod to her own past as a gymnast, an influence which has become increasingly easy to spot with the launch of her fall 2021 collection. 
Meanwhile, returning designers Dojaka, Heo and Davis remind us exactly why they are back for this year's Fashion East line up. We are introduced to the delicate and slender designs of Albanian designer, Nensi Dojaka which for the first time embrace colour. Then there's GOOM’s third collection which peers into the darkness, reinforcing the tragic events of the past year. Finally, the Trinidadian designer Maximilian Davis pays homage to his roots by exploring 1960s and early ​’70s couture found throughout family photographs.
Yet again capturing brilliance with its class of 2021, Fashion East’s AW21 show is feel good and wholesome. Definitely a must watch for fashion fanatics worldwide.

Article written for Original Magazine, read here.
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